Counterfeit OxyContin claims another life in Canada

Fake OxyContin detailA 19-year-old man from Saskatoon has died after taking a counterfeit OxyContin pill that contained a high dose of a different drug.

Kelly Best snorted a small part of a crushed OxyContin pill - which if genuine would have contained a regulated dose of the opioid analgesic oxycodone. The counterfeit version instead contained fentanyl, another powerful opioid that was present in a high enough dose to kill him.

Best is the third person in Saskatoon to be killed by the pills in the last six months, according to Canadian police, who are trying to crack down on the distribution of the fakes.

Last October, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in British Columbia seized around 4,700 of the 80mg OxyContin copies - known by users as 'greens' or "green beans" - which are stamped with the letters 'CDN' on one side and '80' on the other.

Authentic OxyContin pills made by US company Purdue Pharma have a blue-green coloured coating with white on the inside, but the counterfeits are green throughout.

Last February, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (CCENDU) warned that pills containing fentanyl have become increasingly available in several Canadian communities.

The criminals producing of the pills - no doubt mindful of repeat business - make sure it is possible to get a high from them, but their shoddy manufacturing means the amount of fentanyl present varies and can be distributed unevenly in the tablet.

According to his family Best was not a habitual drug user and had snorted a small portion of one pill - thought to be around an eighth - but nevertheless the dose present was fatal.

"I don't think we can stress enough the concerns we have about public safety here," Saskatoon police spokesperson Alyson Edwards told CBC News.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top